Canadian GP, Practice Two: Max Verstappen sets the pace

Max Verstappen set the pace ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Friday practice for the Canadian GP.

After a controversial outburst during Thursday’s press conference, the young Dutchman did his talking eloquently on the track on Friday as he set the pace in both sessions.

“Max has come into the weekend with a lot of criticism but he has established he has the speed. He’s a future champion and today he’s dominated,” said Sky F1’s Damon Hill.

Monaco victor Daniel Ricciardo missed much of the session after Red Bull detected an issue around his engine but the Australian returned to action for the final 20 minutes to set the third-quickest lap time and prolong hopes he will avoid an engine-related grid demotion this weekend.

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest but only half a second down on Verstappen despite setting his fastest time on supersoft tyres – two ‘steps’ below the hypersofts which Verstappen and Raikkonen used.

Practice One: Verstappen ahead of Hamilton
When’s the Canadian GP on Sky F1?

Mercedes have only brought five sets of the hypersofts to Montreal – Ferrari and Red Bull have both taken eight – and seem intent on trying to avoid using the fast-but-fragile compound on race day.

At Ferrari, only Sebastian Vettel will use the Scuderia’s new engine this weekend. But the German had a quiet afternoon and was only fourth quickest, behind Hamilton on the hypersofts, after a lengthy set-up change in the Ferrari garage.

Along with Honda, who were fastest in the speed traps during Practice One, Renault have introduced an upgraded power unit at Montreal as Red Bull prepare to make a decision on the identity of their power providers for 2019 and beyond.

Its introduction may have been critical as Verstappen out-paced Raikkonen to claim top spot in the charts by a tenth of a second.

Ricciardo finished three tenths further back.

“The car is working well, but we are still lacking top speed,” said Verstappen. “But we are not far away and in general it was a positive day.”

1:37 Carlos Sainz loses the rear of his Renault on the exit of Turn Seven and slams hard into the barriers

Williams endured another miserable outing as Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin finished last, while the omnipresent walls around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track caught out both Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz during the session.

After Renault driver Sainz triggered a red-flag stoppage after spinning into the barriers, Vandoorne broke the front suspension of his McLaren car as he pushed to match the top-ten time of team-mate Fernando Alonso.

The Belgian currently trails Alonso 6-0 in qualifying this year.

This Saturday’s qualifying hour starts at 7pm UK time, with build-up coverage on Sky F1 from 6pm.

More to follow…

Canadian GP Practice Two Timesheet Driver Team Time Tyres 1) Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:12.198 Hypersofts 2) Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari + 0.130 Hypersofts 3) Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull + 0.405 Hypersofts 4) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.579 Supersofts 5) Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 0.787 Hypersofts 6) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.863 Ultrasofts 7) Romain Grosjean Haas + 1.422 Hypersofts 8) Esteban Ocon Force India + 1.549 Hypersofts 9) Sergio Perez Force India + 1.556 Hypersofts 10) Fernando Alonso McLaren + 1.668 Ultrasofts 11) Charles Leclerc Sauber + 1.686 Hypersofts 12) Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso + 1.691 Hypersofts 13) Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.758 Hypersofts 14) Nico Hulkenberg Renault + 1.769 Hypersofts 15) Marcus Ericsson Sauber + 1.910 Hypersofts 16) Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren + 1.969 Ultrasofts 17) Carlos Sainz Renault + 2.235 Supersofts 18) Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso + 2.288 Hypersofts 19) Lance Stroll Williams + 2.505 Hypersofts 20) Sergey Sirotkin Williams + 2.584 Hypersofts

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